From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Residents of Orlu in Njaba and Orsu local government areas of Imo State have deserted their communities due to military operations,
Ongoing military operation in search of camps of Eastern Security Network members created panic in the councils, which resulted in most villagers deserting their homes.
This even as the President of Alaigbo Development Foundation, Uzodimma Nwala, described the situation as unfortunate, saying it is difficult to know the true situation on ground.
Daily Sun gathered at the weekend that most villagers have deserted their homes as military helicopters continued surveillance over the communities in search of members of the Eastern Security Network, an arm of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, since last week when the operation commenced.
An Indigene of Uda Orsuihiteukwa in Orsu council, Daily Sun that though no indigene was shot by the soldiers, the military operation was causing serious panic in the area and that most villagers, out of fear, have deserted their homes.
He said: “Situation now is relatively calm in Udah, Orsuihiteukwa. Military helicopters have just left my area a while ago after the surveillance mission. All security Hilux vans have left Udah community for their respective bases.
“Civilians were not in anyway harassed in the exercise. No casualties. The invasion may have been warranted by intelligence reports. But the situation has caused a serious panic in the community. What has heightened the fears of the people is that there was no information from the state government that it was going to deploy soldiers to the area.
“The leaders and officers from Orlu should address this security instability in our zone now. This is not healthy for the progress and advancement of the biggest senatorial in Nigeria.”
An indigene of Umunam Atta community in Njaba council, Andrew Ibe, said: “The truth of the matter is that the soldiers are not beating anyone. But our concern is that there may be shooting any moment since their helicopter is hovering over our houses.
“Again, they arrested one of our respected indigenes who is a priest in the Sabbath Church here. Since Saturday, when he was arrested, nobody has told us why.”
Meanwhile, Nwala said his organisation is making effort to bring elders and leading monarchs of Ndigbo for a meeting where issues of securing the people would be discussed and solutions proffered.
“The situation in Orlu is very unfortunate and no one could actually say the real situation there. But we cannot continue like this and our organisation is making efforts to bring elders and leading monarchs in South East to a meeting where we could discuss the issues security and the best way to secure our people.”